June 27, 2003 — The federal Bureau of Health Professions has awarded the University of the Virgin Islands associate of science degree nursing program a three-year grant totaling $443,539 to increase the enrollment, retention and graduation of disadvantaged nursing students.
The Virgin Islands competed with 67 nursing programs that submitted proposals. Out of 40 that passed the initial consideration, only 16 were chosen. The Virgin Islands' first-year grant of $164,872 is an amount larger than an Arkansas program received, and close to amounts granted to Michigan and California nursing programs.
The bureau is part of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department's Health Resources and Services Administration.
The Strategies for Achieving Results grant (STARs), will be used to fund continuous tutoring, counseling and a stipend for eight incoming nursing students to the St. Croix campus program, and will add more students to the program each year.
"We are very excited and anxious to get started in the program," said Joan Marsh, the grant's principal investigator, who applied for the grant with assistance from fellow professor Janzie Allmacher. Marsh, a nursing professor and chairwoman of the St. Croix campus nursing division, further said, "We are looking forward to making things happen for the incoming nursing students."
The STARs program begins with an intensive two-week workshop in July for incoming freshman nursing students who may apply for a STARs grant. Eight grant recipients will be selected; all nursing students, however, may participate in workshops funded by the grant.
The grant will also fund faculty development and a Future Nurses club for middle school students who are interested in pursuing nursing as a career.
For more information about the STARs program call Joan Marsh at 692-4014.
For more on the award and details of all 16 awardees, see the HHS press release.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.